AKEL: The new Migration and Asylum Pact will continue to trap refugees in the Mediterranean south

28 December 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

The political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum is anything but a cause for celebration. It does not promote solidarity with the countries of the southern Mediterranean, nor does it ensure solidarity with those in need of protection. More specifically, the new Pact:

● Keeps intact the cornerstone principle of the Dublin System, which defines a member state as being responsible for each applicant as the first state of arrival in the EU. In other words, refugees seeking asylum in the EU will continue to be trapped in the countries of the Mediterranean South, including Cyprus.

● Fails to introduce what the Left in Europe and states like Cyprus have been calling for years. Namely, the establishment of a system of distribution and accommodation of refugees in all EU member states without exception, according to the population and capacity of each member state. On the contrary, the new Pact would allow member states to take no responsibility for hosting refugees and to buy off this obligation by paying the States of first arrival in cash or in kind.

● Increases the EU’s dependence on third countries such as Turkey and Libya for the management of the migration issue and control of its borders. The experience of the EU-Turkey agreement demonstrates how Erdogan has been blackmailing EU states with the refugee issue, at the same time as he was and is still receiving billions of euros from the EU.

● Weakens the framework of protection and the respect for human rights laid down in asylum law, as well as the much-vaunted European principles and values. At the same time, it paves the way for more repression to be launched against refugees, a mixture that will boost the activities of human traffickers and slave traders, as well as multiplying tragedies at sea.

AKEL stresses that the new Pact, which is being promoted for adoption in the coming months, does not provide solutions for states like Cyprus in the management of migration and asylum, and in some aspects it is expected that the situation will deteriorate.

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